Wednesday, April 2, 2008

CNN vs Fox

As you may know, CNN has surprised Fox News in a key demographic and is doing quite well in ratings this political season. Is CNN making a comeback?

Nope.

Here's my reasoning. Democrats tend to watch CNN, Republicans tend to watch Fox. The GOP race is done, the Dem race is a rat's nest of intrigue, superdelegate counts, and a death match until the bitter end. That makes for better TV.

Thus Dem viewers tune in to their fav network in higher numbers than GOP viewers. Thus CNN wins.

So, am I just making this stuff up? When time allows I'll extract the proper data and run some analyses to see if my hypothesis holds up. I hope so, because I hate it when data get in the way of a good theory. But I'm fairly certain this explains the reason why CNN is doing so well of late.

We'll see, but I'm disappointed no biz news stories about CNN versus Fox News have raised this possible explanatory factor. Damn journalists...

2 comments:

Lynn Klyde-Silverstein, Ph.D. said...

What about MSNBC? I watched it for a few days while visiting my mother, who is addicted to it. It's got so much more news than CNN. And I just don't see CNN as very liberal at all. In fact, I think it's damn conservative. Comcast in Denver doesn't carry MSNBC anymore.

Hollander said...

I agree MSNBC tends to be more liberal than CNN, or at least its most prominent hosts are more liberal -- and entertainingly so. But the audience is so small for MSNBC it's not a factor yet.

MSNBC is showing significant percentage growth, but that's because its base is so small, a few hundred thousand viewers nationally. I think MSNBC also benefits from the Clinton-Obama battle, or Fox by comparison loses. There's probably a paper in here if I take the time to crank the data.

I do know that from 1998 to 2006, Democrats have kept their viewing of CNN and Fox about the same. Republicans in the same period fled CNN and shifted seriously to Fox. Some of the same is seen for MSNBC.

Thanks for dropping in!